You won’t be here in 100 years from now… so why is life so serious?

We get tangled up in our everyday lives, that it is easy to miss the point… the point of life.

We take everything personally… we take everything seriously… we begin to think that every little thing is ultra important… even though we probably won’t even remember these things a year from now!

And when everything is important, when everything is serious, when everything is personal… we lose that spark of what life is meant to be.

Watch this video to learn more:

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How to make a positive impact on everyone you meet

I always used to get very anxious about wanting to make a good impression with everyone I met.

My anxiety made me nervous, sleepless and stopped me being my natural self.

Then I learnt about the tactics I share in this video… They REALLY helped me and maybe they can help you improve your impact with others also (even if your don’t suffer from anxiety)

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Stress is literally killing us – here are 4 simple ways to reduce it.

Stress – It doesn’t need an introduction.

It is spreading around the world like an epidemic… The chances are you have been affected by it in your life… Almost all of us have.

High levels of stress release a hormone called Serotonin in your body.

This hormone creates the ‘fight or flight’ sensation – It is a part of our biology, so when we are presented with real danger, our bodies and mind are ready to fight off the danger or run away from it. It was only designed to be used infrequently and in moments of life threatening danger.

This hormone, when activated, switches off all none essential functions in your body.

Here are some of the things that get switched off when you feel stressed:

Your immune system
Your creativity
Your digestive system
Your memory retrieval
Your physical growth

As you can clearly see, these elements are critical factors in the long-term ability to be a healthy human being.

When we understand that high stress causes high levels of Serotonin to be pumped through our bodies, all of the time, it’s easy to identify why stress is literally killing us.

“No amount of anxiety can change the future. No amount of regret can change the past.”

Karen Salmansohn

If you, like me, have been affected by stress, here are 4 simple ideas that can help:

Remove yourself from the situation

imagesThe power of physically removing yourself from the situation and going for a walk… in nature if possible…. cannot be underestimated. The act of getting away, even just for half an hour, acts as an emotional and intellectual reset.

Give your brain some air and some space.

The fact of the matter is your brain can answer any question you give it… what you need to do is ensure you are asking the right questions. When you are in the moment, with all the stress factors surrounding you, it is difficult to know what the right questions are… never mind try to answer them.

Go for a walk in nature. Give your mind some time, space and air. Just enjoy the experience. When you return, you will feel less stressed – therefore will have ‘switched on’ those internal systems you need, like creativity.

Here is my challenge to you – if you think this strategy is just wishful thinking or that you don’t have the time – then test it… go for a one hour walk in nature today… what have you got to lose?

If I am right… imagine what you might gain.

Focus on what is REALLY important

Stress, in the main, is caused by lots of little things that all feel very urgent.

We often mistake urgency for importance and therefore are bound to feel stressed, because pretty much everything is urgent these days!

There is a theory that 20% of the tasks you have to do in any given situation, will deliver 80% of the results you desire. So… if you have a ‘To-Do list’ of 10 actions, 2 of these will deliver 80% of the results you want… leaving the other 8 actions with only 20% of the outcome you need.

Do you know what the 20% of important actions are in your life? Because when you do, and once you take action on them, 80% of your stress will be removed.

Take some time out to figure out what is the most important 20% in your life – then start taking action towards these things first.

Take action, even when you don’t feel like it

“There is just so much to do…. I don’t know where to start.”

I hear this so often when working with people under high levels of stress. The bottom line is, this approach is not serving you.

Taking action will serve you.

If you have managed to identify the important 20%, then work on this… but even if you haven’t – start taking action… any action is better than no action at all.

When we are stressed, we don’t see the value in the small steps forward – we want a magic wand to sort it all out. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand and there is rarely a quick fix.

Think of this metaphor… The person is who wants to lose weight and get fit.

If this person goes on the scales after one gym session and a healthy breakfast, they will be disappointed… there won’t be any difference. In fact they probably still won’t notice a difference after a week of gym sessions and healthy eating either.

But those little actions DO make a difference… In fact they make ALL the difference!

Do you think that person will notice a difference after two weeks? A little maybe… how about a month? How about a year?

Of course there will be a massive difference – It is simple, but true.

This is the same with stress.

Take positive action consistently. You might not notice the difference immediately… but over time the transformation will become dramatic!

So, when you don’t know what action to take or don’t feel like taking action is worth it… do it anyway. Keep on taking positive action everyday.

Soon those small actions will build momentum – and momentum will make you unstoppable!

Create and use a support network

You are not alone.

stock-photo-large-group-of-people-seen-from-above-gathered-together-in-the-shape-of-two-hands-reaching-out-each-255266638You are not the only person to have experienced this level of stress.

Don’t face it alone. Today we are more connected than ever before, so we should use this to our advantage! Connect with other people who are facing similar struggles… or even better, connect with those that have overcome them!

Together we are stronger.

Seek out like-minded people who can support you, who can challenge you and who will need you to do the same. There are so many sources of information, inspiration, groups, coaches, networks out there – use them.

The strength of knowing that you are not alone, the power you gain from knowing that it can be overcome is immeasurable. You have access to this at your finger-tips:

Watch inspirational videos
Join discussion groups
Meet with follow professionals in your sector
Get a coach
Get a mentor
The list goes on…. just get some support!

Putting it all together:

Stress stops everything. It stops important internal processes and it stops you making good decisions and taking positive action.

Don’t let it. You can take control… Remove yourself from the situation, get some fresh air and fresh perspective. Work out what 20% of tasks you need to do to remove 80% of the stress levels.

TAKE ACTION and build momentum… And finally don’t forget to get some support – You are better working with others, allow yourself to be the best version of you.

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Beating Depression

It is at this time of year that I tend to reflect on my life more than usual – I think deeply about who I have been, who I am now and why.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was a very different person than I am now – In fact, almost three years to the day I was lost… lost in the fog and mist of depression.

You might know about my story, I have mentioned it in other posts… how I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, 50lbs overweight and utterly miserable – these were just the outward signals of the dark disease which was growing inside me.

I cannot accurately describe how I felt during this time… it was as though a cruel, oppressive and hurtful entity had been absorbed in every pore of my body and mind.

It felt separate from the “real” me, yet it was all consuming. I felt like I was drowning. It was scary and there didn’t seem like there was anyway out.

However there was a way out. I did escape, I haven’t fallen back, I never will – and I learnt some important lessons:

  1. Depression is very real and has to be taken very seriously. It is a disease and we should treat anyone caught in the midst of it with the same compassion and care as we would with any other physical disease.
  2. It is possible to recover from this disease.

If you have been caught by depression, please get some professional help – I can offer my advice on how I recovered and hopefully it can help – however, nothing can beat professional support, especially if depression’s claws are in deep.

The way I managed to free myself will sound simple – I decided I had to change and I started taking positive actions everyday.

I realise this will sound over simplistic and unrealistic, but it is true – I was in a desperate situation – I had to change, otherwise the consequences would have been the darkest possible.

When I made the decision it felt impossible. I had no idea what to do or where to start – what possible action could solve something as big as depression?

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The thing is that is what depression wants you to think – depression wants to grow – and the perfect conditions to grow are in a static, absorbed and defeated individual..

On the contrary… I found that depression cannot grow when positive action is consistently taking place.

Success is “consistency”

It is not about one grand action that will rid you of depression forever. That is unrealistic and will make you give up when it doesn’t happen immediately.

Instead it is about momentum – lots and lots of small but positive actions to improve your situation. They can be tiny steps, but when you keep on adding more and more, the momentum becomes unstoppable.

Going for a walk in nature, writing down some goals, making the call, reading the chapter of a book, meeting with friends, seeking professional help and applying for a job… keep taking small actions.

None are the antidote to depression on its own, but together they will slowly remove the conditions for depression to grow.

As the momentum builds, so will you and so will your mind – The fog will start to lift and the oppression will be defeated.

Take positive action – any action, no matter how small… just do it consistently, don’t expect immediate results and you can change your life… I did.

How to believe in people again

Almost everyone has, at some point, been hurt, rejected, dismissed and treated badly. When this happens many of us then find it hard to believe and trust in people again.

If you have ever felt like this, then here are 4 strategies that will allow you to stay positive and get the best out of all of your relationships... Even if it seems as though you are surrounded by people who have hurt you, let you down or broken your heart.

Trust is a biological need

The science is clear… Trust and connection are critical factors in human existence. This is not my opinion, this is proven scientific fact. We are literally biologically forced to connect with others, because we are stronger together.

If you allow a few people to make you lose faith in that, then you are only hurting yourself.

Branding the entire human race as cruel and nasty because of a few people is ridiculous. Think about it… there are 7 billion people on this planet – all of which have a biological need to connect with others. Don’t let a couple of idiots ruin your perception of how many great people there are in the world.

Acknowledge people are just like you

everyoneWe only ever get to see our perspective of life and it is easy to think we are alone in our struggle. The truth is everyone struggles.

Some find it hard just to get through the day, others are frustrated because they can’t chase their dreams, many are worried about how they can support their families, scared of what others think about them. The lists are endless, but the ultimate truth is that everybody is struggling somehow.

It is so important that you understand this. If you ever get to a place where you think your situation is so special and unique that nobody can ever understand you – You are in a bad place and, more importantly, you are wrong. You have more in common with others than you realise.

By saying that nobody could ever understand you, all you are doing is freezing yourself out of relationships.

If you freeze yourself out, then nobody will understand you because you won’t let them, NOT because they can’t. That is your doing… not theirs.

Stop building walls

Once you have been hurt, it is tempting to create emotional barriers and walls to stop you getting hurt again.

Been hurt in love? Create barriers that make it difficult for you to fall in love again… so in theory, you won’t get hurt again.

Hopefully you can see the problem with this tactic. Barriers and walls stop you feeling positive and wonderful emotions. Emotions you need and desire.

Barriers and walls keep the bad guys out, but they also fend off the good guys too.

Walls solve nothing, they just deny you what you want most and they also hurt other people… good people.

The brave thing to do is to brake down your walls and allow yourself to live. I can’t promise you that you will never get hurt again, but by allowing those positive emotions in, it does mean you will experience 10x the love, joy, happiness and trust than you would if you lock everything out.

Most people have walls… break down yours, break down theirs… with love, with joy, with trust and your life will become abundant.

Birds of a feather

141159769539890017_cyh5thwj_cThis last strategy is so simple, but also the most effective – Remove negative people from your life and increase the amount of positive people.

Positive people are supportive, caring and helpful… There are billions of these types of people across the world, literally billions!

They will help you grow, develop and become the best version of you, so seek them out.

Yes there are mean people in the world, but they are not the majority… You don’t have to have them in your life. It is a choice, make one that improves the quality of your life.

Putting it all together

There are mean people and when you get hurt, it is tempting to turn your back on the world and lose trust in people.

Don’t, mean people are in the minority.

You have a biological need to connect with others – If you deny yourself this, you are only hurting yourself.

You are not the only person who is struggling. Understanding this truth will allow you to have more empathy for those around you.

Stop building walls – You deny yourself the emotions you most desire when you create barriers – don’t deny yourself love, joy, happiness and trust.

Choose to build relationships with positive people. There are loads of them out there!

Why do we pretend that SUCCESS is a destination?

Why do we determine success as attaining things we don’t currently have?

I mean that’s really weird right? Saying ‘I will be successful when… I get… or this happens..’

That means success is always in the future and if we have programmed ourselves this way, then even if we achieve our original goal, it wouldn’t mean we are successful – Success will have just moved on to another destination.

We always tell ourselves the same story – when we finally arrive at ‘success’, our lives will be great, be so much easier, be so much happier.

We are literally telling ourselves a fairytale.

Take a moment to think about the story we tell ourselves – Life currently has its struggles, but you will persevere and work hard, then one happy day you will graduate and be ‘successful’. At this point life suddenly becomes easy, you will have more fun and you will be happier.

Does that sound like real life? Do you really think that happens to anyone?

Sorry to bust the bubble, but that story is simply just not true.

Success is not a destination, it never has been and never will be. There is no arrival – You will have challenges and difficulties no matter what. That is just life.

Success does exist though. It is in the actions you take everyday to become a better version of you. Success lives in the now, it lives in your development, it lives in your actions.

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So if you desire success then there is only one question to answer – Will you choose the discipline required to take hold of the now, to live in the now, to improve yourself now?

The discipline to act in the now, is what creates your destiny. Discipline is what will make you the best version of you.

If you don’t choose the discipline of the now, then you will experience only one possible outcome – Regret.

  • Discipline is the factor that gets you back on track, when you lose focus (and we all lose focus from time to time).
  • Discipline is the factor that gets you moving forward quickly when you have failed or been rejected.
  • Discipline is the factor that guarantees you will become the best version of you and the life that comes with that.
  • Discipline is the factor that allows you to be successful now.

I choose discipline – I want to say at the end of my life that I gave it everything I have had. I cannot tolerate the thought of holding regret… of saying ‘what if’.

I urge you to choose discipline too.

Success is not a destination. Success is right now, in the actions you take. Choose to be the best version of you.

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How to CRUSH fear!

No matter who you are FEAR is going to play a part in your life.

How we interpret the fear we feel will determine the action we take… and ultimately the success we achieve in our lives.

In this video I share how we can effectively and powerfully understand what fear is, how to use it to serve you and eventually overcome it!